Temperatures in Texas have finally dropped meaning it’s time to winterize your sprinkler system. There are some things that you might skip over when you prepare your home and outdoor living space for winter, but properly preparing your sprinkler system for winter’s cold weather shouldn’t be one of them.
Why Winterize Your Sprinkler System?
When cold weather hits, it can hit unexpectedly. You want to make sure to have your sprinkler system winterized before the freezing temperatures come your way. Don’t forget the wind chill factor. When temperatures start to dip and the wind whips up, your pipes may be feeling the cold more than you think and damage may be starting underground.
Remaining water can freeze in underground pipes and other sprinkler system equipment during even the first freeze. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees, your sprinkler system is at risk of damage caused by freezing pipes and lines.
Water accumulates or sits in the pipes and irrigation components even when your water isn’t turned on. The water expands as it freezes, causing cracks, holes and even bursting pipes. In addition, when water in the backflow assembly freezes, it can damage the internal components as well as cracking the brass body. Regardless of the type of pipes you have, they can be damaged once water freezes during cold winter months.
Avoid an Unwelcome Surprise
You may be in for quite a surprise when spring returns if your sprinkler system has not been winterized properly. There could be leaks in your yard from pipes and other irrigation system components that have been frozen and have broken. Irrigation system leaks can result in costly repairs and even require replacement.
Winterizing your sprinkler system is best left to the professionals. You may not know what type of water removal is appropriate for your irrigation system. An irrigation specialist will assess your irrigation system and decide which method is best for your system.
For blow-out winterization, a professional will use the type of compressor that will make sure your system is completely drained. They use compressors that have the right amount of air pressure. When talking about compressors – you may hear two terms: CFM and PSI.
CFM is short for the number of cubic feet per minute that air flows into or out of a space. You also may hear the term PSI, which means pounds per square inch. A homeowner’s compressor usually does not have a high enough CFM, but may have too much PSI, which may cause damage to your sprinkler heads or damage the valves.
How the Blow-out Method Works
Compressed air can cause serious injuries from flying debris and isn’t a job for a novice. The commercial grade compressors used by professionals exert an accurate amount of pressure to get your lines completely free of water.
Protect Your Sprinkler System
You may not think you need to winterize your sprinklers since you have turned off the water source. Even when the water is turned off, there is water left in the pipes. Besides having a professional take care of clearing out the lines, you can further protect your irrigation system from the cold weather by wrapping the main shut-off valve with insulation or packing it with straw. Doing this will also help winterize your sprinkler system.
Call the Experts
Don’t leave something as important as your irrigation system to a do-it-yourself project or the handyman down the street. Make sure you call a reputable irritation specialist who knows how to winterize your sprinkler system correctly. They will understand the type of system you have and get it ready for the chilly months ahead.